A NATURE-LOVING primary pupil with a passion for keeping his community litter-free has been lauded by Scotland’s national walking charity – winning a £500 voucher for his school as a result.
Impressed by his determination, Paths for All has announced Oxgang Primary School pupil Dylan Campbell, aged 6, as its “Spring Path Days” campaign winner after his proud mother put him forward.
The voucher will be used on den building kits to help promote the East Dunbartonshire school’s outdoor learning programme, which all pupils will be able to benefit from.
Spring Path Days was a national competition open to families that ran throughout April to encourage young children and families to reconnect with nature, challenging participants to share stories or photographs of how they spent time outdoors.
Dylan’s mum, Caroline Moriarty from Kirkintilloch, said:
“Winning this prize has been a big incentive for Dylan to continue spending time outdoors and helping within the local community – he was so excited when he heard that he won the school prize.
“As a family, we try to do something active every day, and the kids enjoy going on ‘adventure walks’.
“Dylan loves his scooter, playing in the park and climbing trees, so when I heard about the competition, I thought why not? It was easy to apply, so I submitted an entry for Dylan and my four-year-old daughter Rebecca.
“A few months ago, we were given litter-pickers by the local community centre, so when we go on walks, Dylan and his sister collect rubbish. It’s taught them to respect the environment.
“Oxgang Primary School is also looking to get litter-pickers so that more children can join in – if you give them the tools, they will do amazing things!”
The charity has created a host of resources with ideas of keeping younger children entertained while enjoying time spent connecting with nature and making memories to help families who may feel bored of their usual walking routes.
Graham Bowman, Acting Depute Head Teacher at Oxgang Primary School, said:
“The school believes there are so many benefits to an active, outdoor lifestyle.
“It improves fitness, health and mental well-being whilst provides opportunities for socialising and is proven to increase children’s concentration and attainment.
“It was lovely to see the children react so positively to the news – Dylan received a special mention in the whole school digital assembly and a big round of applause.
“We are all delighted for Dylan and look forward to testing out the den building kits as soon as they arrive at the school – we have a few hundred excited children.”
Dylan and Rebecca also won a den building kit for their own adventures to reflect their good work in the community and participation in the competition.
Caroline added: “The den building kit is fantastic. I hid it in the garden and told Dylan to go outside – he was jumping about when he saw it. He waited for his friend to come over, and they built it together.
“Rain or shine, he will be out there pretending to be spies or on an adventure. The kit itself came with camping utensils, so it’s been really fantastic, giving them the full camping experience.”
Path for All’s campaigns and events showcase how walking can bring significant benefits to the nation’s health and environment.
Rona Gibb, Senior Manager at Paths for All, told Charity Today:
“Time in nature is good for everyone. It helps us get moving and feel good in body and mind. Being active outdoors relieves stress and can help the whole family have some fun together.
“Dylan and his wee sister were deserving winners. They told us about spotting deer, identifying leaves, cycling along canal paths, and walking in the woods and parks.
“This was as well as the amazing work litter-picking on their local paths. We could see they had a lot of fun, enjoying nature and helping to enhance the environment.
“We hope Dylan and his family and the children at Oxgang School enjoy building their dens and continuing their adventures in nature.”
Paths for All’s focus is clear: it wants to get Scotland walking: everyone, every day, everywhere.
For more information on Paths for All, visit: https://www.pathsforall.org.uk